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 Post subject: Locost Build Sans Garage
PostPosted: December 27, 2013, 7:16 pm 
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File this under "Has anyone tried this?"

I am just finishing a 65 Mustang restomod and planning the next project - and a Locost fits the bill. The challenge I faced on the mustang and the Factory Five roadster before that is that I have no garage. I rent a place a few miles from home, which is not very conducive to daily progress - I was really limited to one day a week. What I do have is a decent sized basement - see where I'm going? After several measurements, I determined I can build the entire car in the basement, disassemble and move outside to reassemble.

The tricky part is I would need to cut the frame in half (front and back) in order to get it out of the basement. I figure if I cut at the cockpit - all longitudinal tubes - re-welding would be fairly straightforward. I plan to machine square plugs to fit inside each tube to aid in alignment. By setting up jigs prior to cutting the frame, I should be able to replicate the dimensions with very good accuracy.

Perhaps something like this has been done, but I could not find one. Anyway, thoughts?


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PostPosted: December 27, 2013, 8:09 pm 
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What if you built it in three sections (front susp, engine bay and cockpit, rear suspension) with tack welds holding them together for the subterranean portion of the build?
I've seen things sectioned up that way in the build process just not with the intent of taking a sawzall to it when it was finished.

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PostPosted: December 27, 2013, 8:36 pm 
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you could also build it with the machined inserts welded into one side of the joints and just tack or bolt the other side,I would think that would make it easier to disassemble and realign it.


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PostPosted: December 27, 2013, 10:19 pm 
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Check out Marcus' Car9 which is starting life as a basement build.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=15687

With the Car9 design, if you go with a bolt-on roll hoop and just tack on the bustle (including the diff rear support) you could be good to go. After you cut the bustle tacks you have a frame package approximately 90" x 44" x 26" complete with (removable) front and rear suspension. When you eventually move the frame to the garage, weld on the bustle assembly and bolt on the roll hoop and suspension.

The dash hoop top section could also be an add-on, shrinking the 26" dimension to about 20".

I probably over simplified it a bit, but that is pretty close. Of course, you would still need to be able to handle the 90" dimension...

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PostPosted: December 28, 2013, 8:41 am 
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It would be cheaper, simpler, and quicker to replace the basement door with:

1) An extra wide metal skinned exterior door, 48" wide or so.
2) Frame another door next to the first for double doors. May be able to reuse the original door.
3) A small roll up door like a garage unit to replace the existing door. An 8 high x 10 wide is about $500.

If you are not comfortable doing these things:

1) There is also the option of removing a window casing and reinstalling or replacing it with a larger one.

2) Portable building if allowed. Get 3/4" floor, roll up or 48" door on end, prewired. You could also just buy a few sheets of 3/4" plywood to lay on top with overlapping seams if the existing floor is marginal. You can connect a male 3 terminal chord end to use a heavy duty extension chord to power the shed when necessary.


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PostPosted: December 28, 2013, 12:06 pm 
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Don't know about your neck of the woods but out here (California) you can build 120 sq ft of "outbuilding" and not need a permit as long as you don't run a "permanent" power source or water/sewer.
In other words, it needs to be able to be unplugged just as MiataV8 suggests.

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PostPosted: December 28, 2013, 12:16 pm 
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I 100% assure you that a frame welded up, then cut, does not match back up, sometimes not even close.

I did it as recently as 2 days ago (I already knew this but it's just a test layout so it wasn't important).

I have known guys to make large triangular tents to keep their cars in and work on them in nice weather.


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PostPosted: December 28, 2013, 12:29 pm 
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Almost everyone builds their car to ~80% completion, then tears it down to paint. I can see this being the opportune time to moveit outside. If you have the length after the doorway, then it should go without cutting it apart, no problem. Just put it on its side (assuming no welded roll bar at this point). That is unless you have a modern home where the basement stairs turn 1/2way down. If necessary, dismantle it just a bit further to fit thru a 28" x 79" doorway. The ideal location to cut it apart is at the footwell. it might fit with the frame standing vertically. A book frame is close to 78 inches from the rear of the car to the front ot the footwell. Somebody will have to verify that for me. If necessary you can attach the rear tubes outside. I think you would want to build and keep the tunnel insitu in the basement. For the final work, a temporary tarp covered garage such as this 10x15 HF one might help http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-sho ... rages.html. Only 200 bucks.


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HF.JPG
HF.JPG [ 33.17 KiB | Viewed 890 times ]

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PostPosted: December 28, 2013, 10:15 pm 
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cheapracer wrote:
I 100% assure you that a frame welded up, then cut, does not match back up, sometimes not even close.

I did it as recently as 2 days ago (I already knew this but it's just a test layout so it wasn't important).

I have known guys to make large triangular tents to keep their cars in and work on them in nice weather.


This is really what I was concerned about - will the residual strain result in unacceptable movement upon cutting the frame. I would rather not spend countless hours creating a pile of scrap metal.

I think the next step will be to create a simple wood mockup and gauge what kind of reconstruction might allow the frame to come out is one piece. I appreciate everyone's input.


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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 10:22 am 
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Here is one way. Inner tube od to outer tube id clearance is not critical since you would use a V clamp for round, two clamps or special corner v clamp for square. Note offsets. Splice tubes must be parallel. Inner tubes support but do not precisely align.

You could also use square verticals, butted then weld the outside all the way around or stitch for a very large welded area without inner support tubes.


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Break down chassis square.JPG
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Break down chassis.JPG [ 47.31 KiB | Viewed 813 times ]
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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 2:40 pm 
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if you build the car to come appart from the get go, by sleeving directly at a bulk head and only taking off the front suspension "box" and the rear overhang behind the axle, i see no dificulty what so ever.

i would suggest that you use some of the modular methods of construction, build the middle and both ends, this will allow all the front suspension to be fabricated and welded to the frame without any miss alignment, it is somewhat important to keep the drivers compartment in one piece due to the perimeters relationship to the tunnel.

however, its all the little bits that take the time, not the chassis, so i would look at what you have in the way of egress from the basement including removing the floor above and as you build the chassis, try fitting it through the door, the chassis is the simple part and really doesn't cost that much in steel.

if you choose to sleeve the joints, there is a standard system/prescribed way, of doing this for repairing crashed race car chassis without weakening the structure and it is simple.

go for it, get that car built now!!!

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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 3:27 pm 
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john hennessy wrote:

if you choose to sleeve the joints, there is a standard system/prescribed way, of doing this for repairing crashed race car chassis without weakening the structure and it is simple.




OK, I'll bite, what is this standard/prescribe way?

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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 4:40 pm 
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1. ensure that the tubes to be joined are free from a welded seam inside the tube, if it is there, file it out.

2. the inside sleeve must be a tight push fit, not press fit or loose fit in the tube and of the same guage as the frame tube.

3.if the tube to be repaired is round, the tube should be reamed to suit the diameter of the sleeving tube, a i" tube of .065 wall should be reamed to give an inside dia of 0.875 giving a wall thickness of .062 and the ends should be bevelled.

4. the sleeve tube should be cleaned on the outside to give a push fit in the chassis tube.

5. the SCCA state that roll cage tube joints should extend 8" in either direction from the joint, this is impractical in some joint situations but should be looked at as a good standard where ever posible.

6. the sleeve tube should be marked before insertion into the chassis to prevent shifting when the two parts of the chassis are put together.

7. 3/16" minimum holes should be drilled in the chassis tubes at one inch increments on both sides of each chassis tubes at each side of the joint after assembly, do not drill through the sleeve tube but a cone caused by the tip of the drill bit is acceptable

8, ensure that there is NO gap at the joint exposing the sleeve tube as you do not want this welded at the joint.

9. weld the joint and allow to cool.

10. weld the sleeve tube through the drilled holes in the chassis tube on one side of the joint, allow to cool, then weld the other drilled holes, allow to cool and dress if necesary.

this method allows the joint to be only as strong as the original tube and does not cause a stress rise due to increased tube thickness which can result if you weld the sleeve in the joint, an amount of burn through may occure dependant on the tube size, section, wall thickness and type of welding used, on small tubes this cannot be eliminated but a tube that small is not going to be that critical structure wise, if it is, say if you are repairing a bird cage type chassis, then the tube should not be repaired but replaced.

the cooling process is to allow any stretch in the chassis tube and the sleeve tube due to heat to dissipate and then the joint will not be prone to stresses after cooling as would occure if the welding was done all together.

i have used this process many times which was shown to me about 30 years ago and have not had it fail, yet!

others may have different methods that are just as efficient.

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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 5:01 pm 
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Thank you for sharing

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PostPosted: December 29, 2013, 9:01 pm 
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Once again, some very helpful information - much appreciated. I am determined to do this one way or another - lest I be relegated to watching "Dancing with the Stars" or "The Biggest Loser" with my wife. I believe at least one suggestion above will allow me to retain sanity.

I started creating a mockup by laying out the frame envelope with 1/2" solid insulation. I think I determined a method for removing the frame from its subterranean origin - it will involve at least temporary occupancy in the living room, but I can work through that. If I can remove the mockup intact, I'm home free. Otherwise, the modular method suggested should be good.


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